Wow, way to take my notion to an absurd extreme. There’s a massive difference between requiring every team to use the same design and creating games that put more of an emphasis on strategy than raw design. I think this year is a good example of that.
I somewhat disagree with this. Just because you buy the kit, doesn’t mean you will implement it the same way, or even use it the best way. Back in the early years of my team (which is quite embarrassing but nobody on our team has been around that long anymore), we bought a swerve drive kit, actually a couple days after kickoff we did in 2011. The team bought it but never uses it due to being too difficult and people cutting it up because they needed to make a part fit and they didn’t have anything else that may work. Just because teams buy this kit or are exposed to this will they use it properly.
Raise the competitive floor? Don’t buy it.
Makes more margins for the suppliers I buy that…follow the money.
Not just talking about Greyt two new releases, its everything fabricated near max COTS limit of $400 or more with trim levels and “promoted” in CD or in Ri3D
Just as in any tech the more you charge , the more you make on each copy.
Yes because earning small profits and wanting to raise the competitive floor are obviously mutually exclusive.
Not worth it
You can make either elevator Rev or Greyt for a lot less, what you are paying for is the time savings. So there is significant “margin” to the supplier there at +$400 for entire trimmed out elevator kit. Otherwise the supplier would not do it, they are not charities.
I’m not talking about Adam (in fact never mentioned him in that post)
I know Adam too. He and the Greybots are great for First already stated that
I’m talking about Rev or WCP …suppliers
we bought the Rev one to save time had Greyt came out when we decided we may have bought that… its saves time
I think its still a good discussion to have. First should consider down the road where this goes.
I think we’re on the same page still - it is about the process. But why does the process need to be the same for each team? One team’s process may just be taking the first week to talk strategy, watch a lot of Ri3D because they don’t have the resources or manpower to prototype everything and then prototype something after watching those videos. That is 100% okay in my book.
A lot of teams watched the Greenhorns video and went “we need an elevator lift.” Some of those teams have never built a linear lift, ever. The likelihood of failure is high. Can you blame a team for wanting to buy the Greyt lift, assemble it, see how a cascading linear lift works and get some hands on experience first? Then modify it, improve it or adapt it for their specific application.
Would you tell a student who has never done something in the shop to just go do it? Doubtful, that’s a recipe for failure. Instead, I’d show them how to do it right the first time. After that, they do the rest and have gained the knowledge & confidence on the correct way to do it from the start - and WHY it’s correct. The ‘why’ and ‘how’ behind these mechanisms are way more important to me than the actual drilling of holes and cutting of metal.
I still think there’s a lot of value and potential learning possible even if a team doesn’t make 100% of their robot. Not all teams are created equal - let teams do what they want and what is best for their situation.
I agree that engineering failure is a good lesson to learn, but when I’m paying like $600/match or my team only sees like 10 matches a competition, competitive success is a reasonable thing to look for, in any way I can get it. You can only field a non-competitive robot so many times before you run out of students…
At the 2008 championships, it was more like $700+ per match for the majority of teams. For us, another $1000 each to get each team member there, more $$$ to stay at a hotel, daily transportation, meals, etc.
I disagree with your premise that teams can simply buy their way into competitive viability. There’s a lot more that goes into being successful in FRC than having a mechanically capable robot. Good Drivers, drive coach, human player, programming, scouting, strategy, a competent pit crew to maintain/repair the robot/charge the batteries, ect.
Fyi what I said above was pertaining to COTS parts. I think teams can buy their way into competitive viability by buying things like machinery, going to multiple competitions, and affording practice bots. I don’t really see any of that as a problem however.
I was not trying to be absurd or offend you. In engineering it is a simple truism that mature designs will naturally all gravitate towards similar solutions. If majors cots solutions like this become commonplace, we will see common solutions to the game problems with small variations. The shift will come quickly too, because if there is money to be made companies will quickly have the cots on the market. The only difference will be who you buy your cots component from. A vast majority of teams will move to cots solutions because they have a proven track record and vastly smaller time investments. And we end up with a whole lot of boringly similar robots.
While I agree with most of this …
Once these COTS items proliferate, the better teams will iterate/redesign these to perform better. Thus, in the end, the COTS solutions will only raise the floor while the top teams will still be top teams as they raise the bar.
We’ve been through this discussion before with the Andymark gearboxes, AMU chassis, VEXpro, etc. We’ll survive this, just as we survived those and inspiration will still happen.
I just counted. So far there have been 190 responses to the OP.
Eight of those (~4%) used the word iterate. (This one doesn’t count.)
Of course, teams don’t need to iterate their designs, unless they want to win.
I don’t understand the “raise the floor” arguments.
Not all teams will use these items.* Some won’t be able to afford them. Some won’t know how to make use of them. Some will try to make use of them, and fail. The “floor” which I assume means the lowest capability robots that are entered into competition, will remain exactly the same.
It seems like they might give teams the ability to raise themselves a bit off the floor by substituting supplier experience for their own, so that fewer teams will be “on the floor”, but the floor will remain where it is.
*By “these items”, I don’t mean the two items that started this thread, but the numerous items that will be coming from suppliers in the future, if these post-kickoff mechanisms remains legal.
I would love to find a bright PURPLE powder and a local powder coater that would do the job for free in the Arlington, Texas area. Our shop is 1/4 of a regular classroom and cannot support it. I guess it’s get the team to buy 2 cans of Krylon and spray the thing again…haha
Off topic but we don’t powder coat anything (havent established a sponsor yet for it) and we just use Krylon. We’ve actually had people come up to us and ask if we powdercoated it due to how nice it turned out (at the beginning of the season, it had significant wear from +70 matches.)
I’m doubtful that most people in this thread will change camps any time soon, so I’d like shift this conversation in a slightly different direction. These kits are out in the wild, and are likely here to stay at least for this season. No doubt some lower/mid-resource teams will buy them. How can Adam/WCP improve the experience for those teams? I have some suggestions below.
Adam, do you and/or WCP plan to release any further documentation for these products? If the target audience is teams who could put together something like a VEX Clawbot or the AM14U drive, then I’d expect some kind of assembly guide to be available. A link to the RAMP elevator motor sizing video on the Greyt elevator page would probably go a long way as well. At the moment, it seems there are only STEP files.
Assembly tips are being worked on currently and should be released soon.
But at the same time, it’s well known that a drivetrain will NEVER win you a competition. With the addition of cots items that directly manipulate game pieces specific to that year, it messes up the system…
okay wow buddy lets all chill lol